U.S. stocks waver again as energy companies fall | National News

NEW YORK — Technology and energy companies skidded Friday while banks and insurers recovered some of their recent losses, leaving major U.S. indexes little changed on the day and slightly lower for the week.

Credit monitoring company Equifax plunged after it disclosed a data breach that affects 143 million Americans. Competitors TransUnion and Experian also fell, while data security companies like Symantec jumped as investors expected they will get more business.

Grocery stores and food companies slumped as Kroger said stiff competition forced it to cut prices.

Equifax, which hit all-time highs last month, tumbled $19.49, or 13.7 percent, to $123.23. TransUnion fell $1.89, or 3.8 percent, to $47.50.

Security software company Symantec jumped $1.03, or 3.4 percent, to $31.63, and competitor FireEye rose 24 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $16.01.

Insurer Chubb rose $5.97, or 4.4 percent, to $140.85, and XL Group regained $2.13, or 5.8 percent, to $38.61. Still, investors expect the industry to take steep losses from hurricanes Irma and Hurricane. Reinsurance companies, which sell policies that cover catastrophic losses like those caused by storms and floods, are down about 10 percent since early August. Property and casualty insurers have also stumbled.

Grocery store chain Kroger said intense competition with Target and Walmart forced it to cut prices in the second quarter, which hurt its profits. Making matters worse, after the quarter ended Amazon.com completed its purchase of Whole Foods and immediately cut prices on many items. Kroger didn’t change its annual forecast, but that projection doesn’t account for the hurricanes, which may hurt its sales.

Kroger dropped $1.71, or 7.5 percent, to $21.06. Supervalu fell $1.43, or 6.8 percent, to $19.66. Target shed $1.15, or 2 percent, to $57.27 and Walmart gave up $1.24, or 1.5 percent, to $78.88.

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